Human rights and democracy at the heart of EU external action – towards a more effective approach

European Commission The European Commission states in a Communication to the European Parliament and the Council:

All human rights – civil, political, economic, social and cultural – are universal in nature, valid for everyone, everywhere. Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is at the core of the European Union. The protection and promotion of human rights is a silver thread running through all EU action both at home and abroad. On human rights and democracy, the EU must be principled when it comes to the norms and values it seeks to uphold, creative in the ways it does so, and absolutely determined to achieve concrete results.
The objective of this Communication is to open a discussion with the other European institutions on how to make the EU’s external policy on human rights and democracy more active, more coherent and more effective. With a view to producing a step change in the EU’s effectiveness, it sets out a vision of how the EU will broaden, deepen and streamline its action on the international scene to make a real difference to people’s lives.

It proposes action in four areas – delivery mechanisms, integrating policies, building partnerships, and speaking with one voice. It seeks the views of the Council and the European Parliament on how opportunities can be exploited and challenges can be addressed. It provides an orientation around which to gather views and evidence, including from other interested parties, so as to strengthen the EU’s external human rights strategy.

The full Communication is available here.

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